By Stephen C. Schultz
The flames shot up into the air over 15 feet high. Heat scorched my hands and my cheeks as embers rose through the air on endless circular waves of heat. I used the old pitch fork to sift through the ash and scoop up rogue twigs and small sticks that still needed to burn.
It was fall time in Eugene, Oregon and the weather was perfect for burning some “slash” piles from the large oak trees that had fallen last winter in an ice storm. I was at my parents home with my 24 year old son. The two of us took a weekend road trip to spend some time with my parents, help with some chores and attend a University of Oregon football game with my brother and his young son.
There was nothing very exciting or earth shattering about these three days. It was simply a father and son spending time in the car having various conversations and sharing insight on numerous topics. Then there was time spent hauling firewood with the tractor and managing the burn piles. There was chit-chat and general catching up with my father and mother who are in their late 70’s. It was a time I would not trade. It was three generations of “Schultz” men working together with a shared and common goal...preparing for winter.
This particular blog post has no words of wisdom or insightful commentary. There aren’t any recommendations or instructions on how to be a better parent or how to make the most of your work environment. No, this particular blog post is simply an opportunity for me to write some thoughts so I don’t forget this time with my father and my son. You see, I have fewer moments with my son as he embarks on his first year of marriage. And, as my father grows older, those moments in time when we work together tend to be fewer and farther apart.
So, how do we make the most of our time? How do we foster those relationships that bring so much meaning to our lives? I keep coming back to the principle of TIME. Yes, we have social media. Yes, we have Facetime and technology that allows us to communicate like never before. However, I am convinced that time together, with those we love and care about, is not “Time Well Spent”, but rather, time that is preserved and saved. It is time that can earn interest and provide us a lifetime of dividends. Time with loved ones is a wise investment and will be kept secure for years to come in the memory banks of this human experience we call life.